13.11.18 - Being a human rights defender in 2018



2018 marks the 20th anniversary of the UN Declaration on human rights defenders and the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In this particular context, the panel opening the Human Rights Weeks will be the occasion to address questions such as:

• Who are the human rights defenders in 2018? Do we need to reconsider who is a human right defender given the new context, e.g. social media?

• Civil society is obviously not a monolithic group, how can diversity be promoted and voices heard? Have new technologies helped to give women and other groups a voice?

• What are the main challenges in terms of civic space, in particular on-line? How are they evolving?

• What is the role of Switzerland and UN member states in relation to human rights defenders and civic space? What role does the UN Office for human rights play in relation to human rights defenders?


Kate Gilmore, UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights
Valentin Zellweger, Permanent Representative of Switzerland to the United Nations Office in Geneva
Tendayi ACHIUME, UN Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
Anriette ESTERHUYSEN, Director of global policy and strategy, Association for Progressive Communication
Pooja PATEL, Programme Director human rights defenders,International Service for Human Rights

Panel discussion moderated by Romaine Jean. After a first round of questions and answers, an open discussion between the panelists and the audience will take place.

TUESDAY, 13 NOVEMBER 2018 | 18:30 - 20:00
Uni Dufour | Salle U300


13 nov. 2018